WORLD

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music - Tony Hil­lier

2001 ’ ON its first album since s lauded Band of Gyp­sies , the bril­liant Balkan band Taraf De Haidouks has boldly ap­plied its folk for­mula to some well- loved classical works by the likes of Franz Liszt, Aram Khacha­turian, Bela Bar­tok, Manuel de Falla and Isaac Al­b­eniz.

While gyp­sies in gen­eral have a rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing mu­si­cal mag­pies, any sug­ges­tion that the Ro­ma­ni­ans are pil­fer­ing is coun­tered by the fact that sev­eral of said com­posers freely bor­rowed from Roma

Maskarada Taraf De Haidouks Cram­mmed/ Planet

sources in the first place. With their bat­tery of fid­dles, ac­cor­dions and cim­baloms, plus flute and clar­inet, Taraf puts its own ex­cit­ing em­bel­lish­ments on familiar pieces such as Danza Rit­ual Del Fuego, Lezghinka, Waltz from Mas­quer­ade, In a Per­sian Mar­ket and As­turias, cut­ting through the har­monic struc­tures with im­pro­vi­sa­tions and daz­zling dig­its.

In­ter­spersed are some half- dozen of its own pieces. Vir­ginica Du­mitru — the ensem­ble ’ s

first fe­male guest — adds Edith Piaf panache to Parca Eu Te- am Vazut and cim­balom siz­zle to the wild finale, Suita Maskarada .

Haidouks ’ It is small sur­prise that Taraf De next Aus­tralian visit at WO­MADe­laide in March is awaited with keen in­ter­est by world mu­sic afi­ciona­dos.

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